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Buckley kicks for cash

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Buckley service members participate in a Zumba session July 12, led by a local Denver fitness professional, to help raise money for Homes for Our Troops recipient Cpl. Nick Orchowski’s home. The event raised $500 toward the specially adapted home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Phillip Houk)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Buckley service members participate in a Zumba session July 12, led by a local Denver fitness professional, to help raise money for Homes for Our Troops recipient Cpl. Nick Orchowski’s home. The event raised $500 toward the specially adapted home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Phillip Houk)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Approximately 100 Buckley service members gathered July 12at the fitness center where they participated in Zumba and kick boxing for money, which will go toward Homes for Our Troops recipient Cpl. Nick Orchowski's home.

Orchowski, an injured combat Army veteran who sustained a spinal cord injury while deployed to Iraq in 2004, said he was thankful for everyone coming out and he and his family really appreciate what everyone has done for them.

Those who came out gave a donation and participated in a Zumba and kick boxing session instructed by local Denver fitness professionals. A total of $500 was raised toward the specially adapted home.

"We want to help support our local veterans," said 1st Lt. John Jacob, 460th Force Support Squadron, when asked why the base organized this event. "We support our own, whether it's Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, it doesn't matter."

He said what's impressed him even more is the injured war veterans who have had homes built for them already, come out to these events and help out with the organization any way they can.

Airman 1st Class Regina Brown, 460th Medical Group technician, said this event wasn't only raising money for a great cause, but it was also a good team-building event.

"You're having a good time, whether you're making a fool of yourself or not, it's for a good cause and it's fun," she said.

The home being built will be constructed specifically to meet the needs of Orchowski, who's convoy was hit by an enemy vehicle a couple weeks into his deployment. Orchowski was in the gunner's hatch during the moment of impact, tossing him from the vehicle. When he hit the ground his shoulder jammed into his cervical spine leaving him a quadriplegic. About four months into his recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C., he had to have a procedure done removing an infection from his spine.

When the doctor was cleaning the infection he snipped a couple nerves, in result it caused Orchowski's leg to move. When he woke up from the surgery he was able to move his legs and left arm.

Orchowski is said to be one of seven in the world to be diagnosed as a incomplete quadriplegic. He has no feeling from his neck down, but can still walk and has use of his left arm.

The home is built to quadriplegic standards, the ceilings will be reinforced with a track that will be able to carry Orchowski from his bed to bathroom and other areas throughout the home. Some other amenities include fully accessible counters and shelves along with temperature controls, this way he can safely run bath water for his children. There is no carpet in the home, with room to move and turn around a wheel chair. The doorways will be wider than usual and he will have keycards so doors will open automatically.
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